Publisher: Graveside Tales (2008).
Favorite character: Toby.
Favorite quote: "And here, for one night only, there is death."~Omniscient narrator.
"I’m going to swallow your heart." ~Luca
All in all: Great take on a vampire story.
Synopsis: San Antonio, Ibiza. A non-stop carnival for the young, where excess reigns and rules are made to be broken. But this summer, something else has joined the party. Something cruel and dark-hearted. An evil that moves through the night with an appetite for sin.
Toby Matthews has come to San Antonio to recover from a broken heart, and it seems that beautiful Cass Tait may be the cure. But as their relationship begins to bloom, they stumble upon an unspeakable darkness. They stare evil in the eye, they see its true heart, and know that only they can stop it. Before the sun goes down, they must decide whether to run … or whether to stand like heroes and fight.
This is the hunting ground. The live wire. Where hearts were made to beat harder.
This is San Antonio … one long exhilarated scream.~Rioyouers.com
Everdead is told from Luca's POV (the vampire), and Toby’s, our young hero. There was also another character which I found intriguing, the city of San Antonio, Ibiza itself. The location is portrayed as a throbbing, living organism with an extra pulse where thrills and freedom are found down one road and danger down another.
Regarding the writing, there is some head jumping that is a little confusing but it didn’t show up a lot. Also, I personally would have cut out some back story, narrative and dialogue. However, the rest of the story more than makes up for this. Just like in Mama Fish, also by Rio Youers, this story contains beautiful details and exquisite, skillful metaphors. While reading Everdead, I often shook my head in disbelief and wondered how the author thought of such rich imagery.
The vampire was of the bad ass variety. He killed and reveled in it. Seeing beauty in death where he once saw only despair. It is interesting, because once you are in a character’s head you often root for them. At first, even though I know Luca is a killer I found myself connecting with him and was interested in how he came into existence and the trials, tribulations and joys he finds being a vampire. I love the details of his nature. The strings of saliva like a wild animal when he was enraged and his poetic words to his victims seducing them to their deaths. Remember kids, not all vampires are romantic and sparkly. Some are just downright psychopaths.
Then I met Toby and his friends who are on Spring Break and Cass and her friends who are there for the same reason. I got to know Toby and of course like him. He is a relatable character, an everyday guy with insecurities who eventually overcomes them because of his connection with Cass. As their world and Luca’s entwine he finds strength within himself. He also gets help from an unlikely source, his stoner friend Johnny, who we realize has more brain cells than at first glance.
I see another theme here as I write this very much akin to Mama Fish; friendship. Cass fights the vampire for her friend who ended up in Luca’s clutches and Toby fights the vampire not only for Cass but for his friends as well. He realizes that he can’t live in a world where Luca exists, where his loved ones might be in danger. These feelings help him find inner strength and he discovers that he is not the second fiddle that he has always considered himself.
The story culminates nicely and utilizes earlier devices that I had in my head, but still took me by surprise. It also didn’t have the fairy tale ending that I thought it might, but it was sweet, even bittersweet without being sappy.
Oh yeah and let’s not forget the horror! Yay! Disturbing, gory, thrilling. Just the thing to get the darkness in my heart pounding. It was prevalent and the blood flowed when needed but it wasn’t gratuitous or unnecessary.
The e-book version is not formatted wonderfully. This is not something that bothers me, but if it bugs you, just be aware of it or pick up the printed version.
I can’t stop thinking about this story or the characters. My thoughts flowed without spending days pondering what I liked or didn’t like and I felt that I didn't struggle to write something that might be useful to anyone interested. Plus, the horror was really good!
(I am trying something new: Writing about books without giving a rating! I'm going to see if it works for me and for you. Please let me know what you think. If you must see a rating from me, you can visit my Goodreads page or my Amazon reviews.)